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Unread 09-12-2017, 11:55 PM   #1
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Default How do I support a partner with depression?

My boyfriend and I have been together for a few years and I know we love each other. We have talked about spending the rest of our lives together.

He has been diagnosed with depression which can vary in severity and he refuses to seek help for it.

He also has many painful health complications and he's in his 20s. He is naturally very active and athletic and his physical pain causes a lot of emotional pain.

He has often said that he does not imagine or want to live a long life and has mentioned suicide more times than I can count. We talk about a future together but he makes comments about how I will outlive him.

We live together. He has periods where he is really low and withdraws from me- barley wants to exchange words for days, refuses to leave the house for any socializing, is agitated/ angry, and refuses any physical affection. When I try talking to him about it, or about anything in my life he says I stress him out and shuts down even more.

I know he loves me but he is depressed. It really wears me down because I also need support and we are both negative. I need time to vent but I still have a passion for life and I know what I want out of life and that is a full life and to grow old with someone and have a family.

I don't want to leave him but I'm not sure if it is good for my own mental health to stay. I don't know how to support him because he refuses to seek professional help of any form and believes he is hopeless.

Does anyone have insight/ advise in helping me support him? Or at least in supporting me through supporting him?
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Unread 09-13-2017, 12:31 AM   #2
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Default How do I support a partner with depression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olive303 View Post
My boyfriend and I have been together for a few years and I know we love each other. We have talked about spending the rest of our lives together.



He has been diagnosed with depression which can vary in severity and he refuses to seek help for it.



He also has many painful health complications and he's in his 20s. He is naturally very active and athletic and his physical pain causes a lot of emotional pain.



He has often said that he does not imagine or want to live a long life and has mentioned suicide more times than I can count. We talk about a future together but he makes comments about how I will outlive him.



We live together. He has periods where he is really low and withdraws from me- barley wants to exchange words for days, refuses to leave the house for any socializing, is agitated/ angry, and refuses any physical affection. When I try talking to him about it, or about anything in my life he says I stress him out and shuts down even more.



I know he loves me but he is depressed. It really wears me down because I also need support and we are both negative. I need time to vent but I still have a passion for life and I know what I want out of life and that is a full life and to grow old with someone and have a family.



I don't want to leave him but I'm not sure if it is good for my own mental health to stay. I don't know how to support him because he refuses to seek professional help of any form and believes he is hopeless.



Does anyone have insight/ advise in helping me support him? Or at least in supporting me through supporting him?


First and foremost I am very sorry to hear the dark times you're going through. More importantly, I thank you -on behalf of your bf- for having a clear mind and compassion and understanding for your boyfriend. Most people would have taken these his actions personally.

So, for now he has been refusing to get professional help. You cannot force him to seek help. He has to want to do this himself. However, I speak from experience, I had to hit rock bottom before I had decided that I needed professional help. And to be honest, I have had several bad therapist, which in return caused me more harm.

I applaud you and your boy friend. Being in a relationship while suffering from major depression is tough; and it is also tough to see your loved one suffer, yet not being able to help. This is one of the reasons why I have chosen to stay single and been so almost for a decade. My perception of love is that I don't want to cause this much inconvenience and discomfort and unhappiness for The person I love. And frankly in the past, my boy friends either did not believe in depression or blamed me for not trying harder and left me. Thus, I have no expectations. However, please note that I do not blame my ex-boyfriends for leaving. It is their life and I cannot blame anyone for not wanting to be with a depressed person. It is a lot to take on.
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Unread 09-13-2017, 10:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: How do I support a partner with depression?





Quote:
Originally Posted by FallDuskTrain View Post
First and foremost I am very sorry to hear the dark times you're going through. More importantly, I thank you -on behalf of your bf- for having a clear mind and compassion and understanding for your boyfriend. Most people would have taken these his actions personally.

So, for now he has been refusing to get professional help. You cannot force him to seek help. He has to want to do this himself. However, I speak from experience, I had to hit rock bottom before I had decided that I needed professional help. And to be honest, I have had several bad therapist, which in return caused me more harm.

I applaud you and your boy friend. Being in a relationship while suffering from major depression is tough; and it is also tough to see your loved one suffer, yet not being able to help. This is one of the reasons why I have chosen to stay single and been so almost for a decade. My perception of love is that I don't want to cause this much inconvenience and discomfort and unhappiness for The person I love. And frankly in the past, my boy friends either did not believe in depression or blamed me for not trying harder and left me. Thus, I have no expectations. However, please note that I do not blame my ex-boyfriends for leaving. It is their life and I cannot blame anyone for not wanting to be with a depressed person. It is a lot to take on.
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Unread 09-13-2017, 12:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: How do I support a partner with depression?

Have you thought about seeing a therapist yourself to preserve your mental health?
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Unread 09-13-2017, 01:45 PM   #5
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Default How do I support a partner with depression?

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Have you thought about seeing a therapist yourself to preserve your mental health?


Thank you for your question.
Of course. I have had a therapist for few years.

Last edited by FallDuskTrain; 09-13-2017 at 02:02 PM.
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Unread 09-13-2017, 02:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: How do I support a partner with depression?

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Have you thought about seeing a therapist yourself to preserve your mental health?
I have as well
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Unread 09-15-2017, 12:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: How do I support a partner with depression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallDuskTrain View Post
First and foremost I am very sorry to hear the dark times you're going through. More importantly, I thank you -on behalf of your bf- for having a clear mind and compassion and understanding for your boyfriend. Most people would have taken these his actions personally.

So, for now he has been refusing to get professional help. You cannot force him to seek help. He has to want to do this himself. However, I speak from experience, I had to hit rock bottom before I had decided that I needed professional help. And to be honest, I have had several bad therapist, which in return caused me more harm.

I applaud you and your boy friend. Being in a relationship while suffering from major depression is tough; and it is also tough to see your loved one suffer, yet not being able to help. This is one of the reasons why I have chosen to stay single and been so almost for a decade. My perception of love is that I don't want to cause this much inconvenience and discomfort and unhappiness for The person I love. And frankly in the past, my boy friends either did not believe in depression or blamed me for not trying harder and left me. Thus, I have no expectations. However, please note that I do not blame my ex-boyfriends for leaving. It is their life and I cannot blame anyone for not wanting to be with a depressed person. It is a lot to take on.
Thank you for taking the time to respond.

I agree that he has to want to get help and can't be forced. I have hopes and dreams and don't want to give them up waiting for him to hit rock bottom. I am not sure what will get him to that point and what it will even look like.

Thank you. He has said things to me in the past about how I deserve better and he feels bad dragging me down through this. I am sorry that you had boyfriends that made you feel worse about it. There is still such a huge stigma around mental health and everyone deserves to be loved. I love him unconditionally and want to be there for him. I don't want to leave him but I am not sure I can spend my life with him.

I have already given up a lot to be with him. I moved to a new state with him where I have no family and friends, left a job I loved, and lost a lot of money moving and being unemployed. I wonder how much more I can give up before I need to take care of myself.
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Unread 09-15-2017, 12:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: How do I support a partner with depression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer 1967 View Post
Have you thought about seeing a therapist yourself to preserve your mental health?
I really want to but I dont have the funds for that at the moment.
He had to move to a new state and I followed leaving behind a job I loved (and very close friends and family). When I moved I didn't have work lined up so I depleted my savings while looking and moving. And because of that I can't afford a therapist.

This is also a reason why our relationship is suffering and I am uncertain. I have already given up a lot to be with him.
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Unread 09-15-2017, 12:28 AM   #9
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Default How do I support a partner with depression?

Dear Olive303

of course, it is not my place to tell you what to do but...
You need to think about the future of your family. I am not sure if you are planning on having kids but regardless you want to think about your future. where do you see your self? Of course there will be compromises in every relationship, so you may need to adjust your future plans based on him but how much are you willing to compromise?
I will give my mom as an example. My dad, a wonderful, peaceful and highly ethical, yet a very depressed alcoholic and my mom, a very positive, resilient, and a loving wife have been married for 52 years. My dad stopped working when he was 40 and my mom had to work to bring home the money. She never left him.
Could my parents marriage have worked out if my mom weren't such a positive and an understanding person? Probably not. I am sorry to give my parents as an example. That is the closest example.
You are in a tough situation. I see it and of course, I also see the pain your boy friend is going through. I have been in his shoes, although I have to admit: I would have felt guilty if my partner sacrificed that much for me and on top of that handled my depression. I apologize that I'm being very blunt but you have to remember this: depression makes one self centered and I think it is also impacting his thinking. You have sacrificed a lot.
I understand him. He is definitely not doing it intentionally but the substance of the result remains the same.
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